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New Book Captures the Essence of Auckland’s Sea Edge

A deluxe hardback with stunning art and photos, and dazzling text, Sea Edge is the culmination of years of intensive research by Sir Bob Harvey into the history and photo archives of Auckland’s magnificent Waitematā Harbour.

A rich variety of profiles and illustrations depict the past, present and future for Auckland’s dynamic, beautiful sea edge.

Auckland is a glorious maritime city of character and charm. What happens at the sea edge — the beaches and ports and fringes of the Waitematā Harbour — defines the city’s past and present. Since the first Polynesian voyagers made landfall in their double-hulled sailing canoes, new arrivals have continually rediscovered and redefined the harbour and Hauraki Gulf beyond.

Waitematā, ‘sparkling waters’, originated as a name from a rock off Kauri Point. Settlers from Britain and other parts of Europe navigated into the Waitematā to create the ‘City of Sails’.

Sea Edge: Where the Waitematā Meets Auckland is a collection of old and new stories, vignettes of the past and visions of the future, accompanied by many unpublished photographs and illustrations.

The power of the narrative is the transformation of the Auckland Waterfront across history — including the enormous task of reclamation, building the port, and developing commerce and culture.

Sir Bob Harvey has drawn on his lifetime’s connection to the harbour and his civic leadership in planning its future, and dedicated recent years to researching the stories of the Sea Edge. It tells an inspiring story. The City of Sails holds a promise of much to come.

Sea Edge is organised into four parts:

• The Beginning: from Māori on the Waitematā and Governor Hobson through to Shed 10, the Auckland Ferry Building and Henry Winkelmann

• The Inner Harbour: America’s Cup and yachting heroes, Sanfords and fishing, on to today’s developments including the new Park Hyatt and GridAKL

• The Working Waterfront: work including scows, the Devonport Naval Base, the Great White Fleet, waterfront strikes, SkyPath and Wynyard Point

• The Future of the Waitematā: plans and dreams for a sustainable waterfront.

‘We owe it to our descendants to acknowledge our past and face the future of our Sea Edge with respect and consideration of what we could lose …’

— Sir Bob Harvey, from the Introduction

‘Sea Edge traces the Auckland settlement around the shores of the Waitematā; it is full of stories, lives and history, and is a fitting tribute to those that from early days were conscious of this resource and the importance of keeping it for generations yet unborn.’

— Sir Stephen Tindall, from the Preface

‘This book takes you on Auckland’s journey of growth and discovery that started at our foreshore. It honours those who came, lived and worked on the sea edge and I hope you enjoy it as I have.’

—Mayor Phil Goff, from his Foreword


Sir Bob Harvey was born and brought up close to Auckland’s waterfront, and has made the city and the sea a big part of his life. He served as Mayor of Waitakere City from 1992 to 2010 and later as Chair of Waterfront Auckland. Bob is the author of numerous books including the bestselling Untamed Coast. He was knighted in 2013 for services to local body affairs and the community.

Sea Edge: Where the Waitematā Meets Auckland • Bob Harvey

Published by Oratia Books • ISBN 978-0-947506-48-3 • $75.00


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